Research the history of your house

Brisbane City Council has a research guide on how to find out the history of your house in Brisbane. Your house has a history: keys to unlocking its past will help you discover the history of your home. You can also use our Local Heritage Places online search tool or view the Brisbane City Plan 2014 (City Plan) Heritage overlay maps to find out about suitable development on or adjoining local heritage places.

Download the guide

Your house has a history: keys to unlocking its past gives you 10 methods to use to research the history of your home. Each method focuses on a different research topic and provides easy-to-follow steps and tips about specific research issues.

The guide uses pictures and documents of a typical suburban Brisbane house to illustrate the research process.

Download a copy of the guide:

Guide to researching the date of construction

City Plan outlines requirements for appropriate development in Brisbane’s older suburbs, and for renovating, demolishing or removing some buildings. City Plan also provides for:​

  • houses built before 1947 to be retained and any extensions or alterations to complement the traditional building style
  • houses built before 1911 are to be retained and extensions or alterations should not remove pre-1911 elements of the house.​

The construction date of a building helps to clarify what provisions under City Plan apply to development on character buildings constructed prior to 1947.

Council has developed a Practice Note to assist customers in determining the construction date of a building. This practice note provides general advice and guidance only. Researching a building to identify its construction date can be challenging - the type and detail of historical sources relating to a place can vary and interpreting historical information can require specialist knowledge and skills.

If you would like further advice on determining the construction date of a building, it is recommended you engage the services of an appropriately qualified historian or heritage consultant.

Download the Practice Note – Determining the construction date of a building (Word – 144kb).

Local Heritage Places

You can search for local heritage places and find out facts and features about these places in Council's Local Heritage Places online. You can find information such as architectural period and style, photographs and other historical information about a local heritage place.

Heritage overlay 

The City Plan Heritage overlay identifies sites that have either local or state heritage values. This overlay explains what development would be appropriate on, or adjoining, local heritage places. This includes the reuse of these sites to ensure the cultural significance of a place or area and the Indigenous cultural values are not compromised.

More information

You can find other information about the history of your house by checking:

For general enquiries about researching a property, Council's City Archives may also assist.

Last updated: 9 June 2021